Always make sure you have the correct equipment ready for match day. This should include (home team responsible unless stated):
- 2 x match footballs of correct size (check no tears, etc, and that footballs are inflated to correct pressure)
- WGS Squad List (should be up-to-date and in printed form) - BOTH TEAMS
- First Aid Kit (check contents regularly and replenish as required) - BOTH TEAMS
- Referee fee (for appointed referee) - HOME TEAM for divisional matches, BOTH TEAMS for cup matches (50/50)
- Bibs or change kit in case of colour clash
- Corner poles and flags (mandatory for corners, but optional for half-way lines)
- Goals, including nets, anchored securely (as per goal manufacturer's instructions) - make sure goal nets do not have any holes that a football can go through.
- Respect barrier (designated spectator area) down one side of pitch - can be a designed Respect barrier, line of cones or a painted line
Player kit should consist of a shirt (numbered), shorts and socks, along with suitable footwear.
Colours Under League rules laid down by the FA, kit (including that of the goalie) should not be black or very dark to avoid confusion with the referee. Clubs may be asked to send photos of proposed new kit to check that it is suitable.
Shinpads must be worn under the socks. Any player without shinpads will not be allowed to play for safety reasons.
Colour clash - in cases where the referee decides the colours of the kits of both teams are too close, the home team shall wear a change kit or wear bibs. Subsitutes should wear a bib or tracksuit top to distinguish them from the players on the field of play.
Under-garments - under shirts should match the dominant colour of the shirt sleeves and leggings should match the dominant colour of the shorts. Black leggings will be allowed for the younger age groups (U7-U10) but colour-matching ones would be preferred.
Flying footballs and close physical contact make football a moderate risk sport for eye injuries. Spectacles or goggles may provide protection from injury and can also be worn with those who need to wear prescription lenses.
Where possible players that need to wear glasses during play should wear sports glasses/goggles designed for sport. Normally these have polycarbonate lenses and can be made to match a player's prescription.
The glasses/goggles should be held in place by an elasticated sports band which will hold the glasses tight to the head so they will not fall off.
Although sports eyewear is intended to offer the best protection available, there is always the possibility that the wearer may sustain an eye or facial injury due to severe impact or because of the nature of the athletic activity. Referees should ensure that if a request has been made to wear glasses/goggles, that they must not be a danger to himself or to any other player.
Children and Grassroots Football: Whilst The FA recommends Polycarbonate lenses we recognise this may be an issue for children playing in grassroots football. Therefore we encourage referees officiating in grassroots youth football to be tolerant over glasses. However the individual referee has to show concern for all those playing in that game and if s/he feels there is something dangerous in the glasses i.e. sharp edges, etc, then in order to protect players and also the wearer him/herself s/he has the authority to say the glasses cannot be worn.
The final say on whether it is safe to play must remain with the referee
Player names on shirts: From the 2021-2022 season, a new rule has been added to the League rules which means that player names should not appear on player shirts in the U7 to U18 age groups (SCORY). This has been added for safeguarding reasons to reduce the potential risk of someone using the name on the shirt in order to try to groom the player. Names may appear on player shirts in the U21 age group.
As most players within the League are under the age of 18 years, clubs should be mindful about the type of sponsors agreed for youth teams.
Under FA Rule 12. A. 8.) , the Football Association statesany part of the kit should not contain "any reference whatsoever to a product, service or other activity which is considered by The Association as detrimental to the welfare, health or general interest of young persons, or is otherwise considered inappropriate, having regard to the age of the players, is prohibited.
It is the view of The Association that examples of such products, services or related activities would include, but are not limited to, age restricted products, services and related activities such as alcohol and gambling. Generally, reference to a public house or restaurant may be permissible, unless the establishment primarily or exclusively exists for the supply and consumption of alcohol (which is likely to be reflected in its alcohol licensing conditions). Alcoholic drinks, breweries and products, services or activities related to gambling are unlikely to be permissible under any circumstances.
Prior to entering into any contractual agreement with a product, activity or service that may be considered to be detrimental or inappropriate to young persons, clubs should contact The Association to seek approval."
Make sure pitch is correctly marked according to the Laws of the Game and that lines are clearly visible.
See Match Formats section below.
Make sure pitch is clear of debris and hazards (e.g. twigs, bottles, cans, dog mess, holes)
If a referee has been appointed, they should do a pitch inspection before the match and inform you of anything that needs attention).
Check that pitch is safe for players (if in doubt seek advice from grounds staff or registered referee).
Make sure the goals are secured as per manufacturer's instructions and that they are in the correct position.
Respect barrier should be set up down one side of the pitch about 2 yards from the touchline. All spectators must stand behind the barrier.
Technical Areas (2) should be set up on the opposite side of the pitch for managers/coaches and subs. Maximum of 3 managers/coaches allowed in each technical area (one home, one away). Parents/spectators should not stand in technical areas.
The home club should confirm the fixture details (ko time, fixture, date, venue, parking) with referee three days before the match
Teams must ensure that referees are treated with respect at all times, particularly those under the age of 18 years.
Clubs should try to use people that are either qualified or know the Laws of the Game (particularly any changes that are made each year).
Once a club referee is agreed, that person has the full authority of a referee and should be treated with respect whether or not they are qualified.
Anyone acting as a club referee must not coach during the match. We know this can be difficult particularly if you are the manager of a team, but a referee must remain impartial.
In the younger age groups (U7-U10) referees should try to educate players in the Laws of the Game, but in a friendly manner, and not just impose the Laws. Explanations of decision will help with player management.
|Referee fees for cup matches are shared 50/50 between both teams.
For 9v9 and 11v11 matches in the OYFL, Assistant Referees (ARs) are required to assist the match referee. Whilst the League has a growing list of referees and will appoint ARs for Cup Finals and perhaps semi-finals, at most matches the two teams will need to provide a volunteer each to act as a Club Assistant Referee (CAR).
Anyone acting as an assistant referee should read the OYFL guide which can be downloaded below.
You will be required to:
- indicate ball in and out of play, both touchline (throw-ins) and goal line (corners and goal kicks)
- indicate foul throws when one or both feet are over the line and on the pitch
- indicate if a player is offside
Things to remember:
- Do not indicate other fouls or penalties (these are the Referee’s responsibility)
- Do not coach during the match (you should be impartial at all times)
- Do not go onto the field of play unless invited to do so by the Referee.
- Ignore the cries of people around you and don’t react. They may not always like decisions made and may well let you know (though they should not)
- If you have serious problems with players or spectators, signal to the Referee by waving the flag to get their attention and let them know.
OYFL Guide for Assistant Referees is available for download (PDF format) Download
In operation at all age groups.
What is a sin bin?
A temporary dismissal, for dissent (by a player) only.
What is dissent?
Use of words or gestures questioning or undermining of the referee’s decisions.
Examples of dissent.
Shouting at the referee, questioning the referee’s ability, slamming the ball into the ground, sarcastically clapping a decision.
How long is a sin bin?
- 10 minutes, for matches of 90 minutes
- 8 minutes, for matches of less than 90 minutes
If the sin bin period has not expired at the end of:
- 1st half: Continues into 2nd half
- 2nd half: Continues into extra time
- Extra time: Player can participate in penalties
Match day process
- Player commits dissent
- Referee shows yellow card for dissent caution and directs player to touchline [Note: there is no special sin bin area]
- Player cannot be substituted until the period expires
- Whilst in the sin bin, if the player commits a yellow or red card offence they cannot take any further part in the game and can’t be substituted
- The referee decides when the player returns to play
- If the player commits a second dissent caution and no other offences, they will have a second sin bin, after which they take no further part in the match but can be substituted.
- If the player commits a second dissent caution and has been cautioned already (non-dissent), they take no further part in the match and cannot be substituted.
Are sin bins tracked?
If a player receives a sin bin during a match, it must be recorded in the Match Statistics in Full-Time. Referees will also report sin bins as part of their post-match reporting.
The match referee will report each sin bin in the same way as other cautions via Whole Game System
There is no County fine for a single sin bin caution (previously £10.00 fine was levied) but it will count towards the discipline points totals for player, team and club.
If a player receives two sin bin cautions in a single match, then there is a County fine and a one match suspension.
OYFL Guide to Sin Bins is available for download (PDF format) Download
Under 7s and Under 8s will use the Power Play option allowed by the FA in small sided football. It will be optional for the losing manager to make sure of the Power Play. It is being used to avoid team becoming demoralised in one-sided matches and make it more challenging for the stronger team.
How does it work?
If the goal difference in a match reaches +4 in favour of one team, the losing team can bring on an extra player.
If the goal difference then drops below +4, then the losing team takes off a player (it does not have to be the same player that came on).
If the goal difference reaches +6, then the losing team can bring on another extra player.
If the goal difference then falls below +6, then the second extra player leaves the pitch, and if it falls below +4 then the first extra player leaves the pitch.
OYFL Guide to Power Play is available for download (PDF format)
In matches where the score reaches a goal difference of eight goals (example 8-0, 9-1, 10-2 and so on), the losing team will have the option to end the match and the score at that point will be submitted to Full-Time as the final result.
If the losing team chooses to continue with the game and the gap increases, then the losing team will be able to end the match at any time. The referee should check after each additional goal scored. The score at this point is the one to report to Full-Time.
In matches where this happens quickly, managers should consider using the remaining playing time as a development match or friendly, and the winning team should use the opportunity to make changes that might even up the match such as setting challenges for players.
Where the option to play a development match or friendly is taken up, the Referee will continue to officiate until the end of the normal match duration.
Whether the match finishes early or at the end normal time, the referee will be paid the standard match fee.
During or after each match, teams should receive an SMS from Full-Time requesting the result of the match.
After the final whistle, send a reply containing the score in the standard Home-Away format, e.g.
Note - U7-U10 teams: do not include results from the second friendly match
If you are responsible for results for more than one team, you will need to include a team code which will be included in the Full-Time SMS, e.g.
After the final whistle, send a reply containing the score. For Cup matches, you may need to include the result after extra time or after penalties. The table below shows the way to reply depending on what happened.
|W/o team code
|With team code
|after normal time
|after extra time
|2-2 3-2 AET
|2-2 AB12 3-2 AET
|2-2 3-3 AET 3-1 PENS
|2-2 AB12 3-3 AET 3-1 PENS
Postponed matches - include team code if you reply for more than one team
Abandoned matches - include team code if you reply for more than one team
Do not include anything else in your reply as it could cause the system not to recognise the response.
OYFL Guide to SMS Results Reporting is available for download (PDF) Download
All teams must complete their match statistics after each match before 6.00 pm on Sundays (by 9.00 pm on matchday for midweek matches)
Login into Full-Time
FA Marks (tab 1)
Both teams to enter the following unless noted otherwise:
- Referee name (home team only)
- Referee marks (in three parts)
- Report on referee (if referee mark is 60 or less)
- Respect Marks – two questions
- Pitch Marks – two questions
Remember to press the Update button before moving to the next tab.
League Team Marks (tab 2)
Both teams to answer the following:
- Was the opposition squad list available for inspection in printed form? Y/N
- Was a respect barrier (designated spectator area) used at the match? Y/N
- Where technical areas available and used by managers/coaches and subs? Y/N
- Did your team use a Power Play during the match? (for under 7s only) Y/N
- How would you rate the behaviour of the opposition players? 0-10
- How would you rate the behaviour of the opposition team officials? 0-10
- How would you rate the behaviour of the opposition parents/spectators? 0-10
Remember to press the Update button before moving to the next tab.
Player Statistics (tab 3)
Both teams in all age groups (unless noted) to enter:
- Bench used (came on as a sub)
- Bench unused (players in matchday squad but did not play) (optional)
- Captain (optional)
- Goal scorers (mandatory for U12-U21, optional for U7-U11)
- Own goal conceded (see main guide on entering own goals)
- Yellow card – U12-U21 only
- Sin bin
- Second yellow card – U12-U21 only
- Red card – U12-U21 only
- Player of Match (for your own team, U12-U21 only, optional)
Remember to press the Update button before moving to the next tab.
- Opposition Player of Match (for opposition team, U12-U21 only, optional) – to enter, press blue Switch to Opposition Team Stats button at the top of the table, select the opposition player of the match from the dropdown and press red Create button
Remember to press the Finished button before logging out.
OYFL Guide entering Match Statistics is available for download (PDF) Download
The first thing to remember is that player safety is paramount when deciding whether to play a game or to postpone it. The decision as to whether the pitch is playable or not is firstly down to the Council or to the groundsman if a private pitch. In the event that the Council close their pitches down the League Fixtures Secretary will send out notification as soon as he is made aware of this. Please do let the League Fixtures Secretary know if you receive any notifications of this nature.
The only other person who can postpone a game is a registered referee or the appointed referee for the game. If the game is in doubt, you must contact the appointed referee and try and arrange a pitch inspection. We have no problem with the inspection being carried out by a referee affiliated to the home Club as long as he or she is registered with the FA and will send confirmation of reason for the pitch being unfit to the League Fixtures Secretary.
As soon as the decision has been made to declare a pitch unfit, the home club must contact the away club and ask them if they have a pitch available. The game must be switched if a pitch is available at the same kick off time as was originally planned. The only reason that a switch will not be compulsory is in the event of a last minute postponement and there is a considerable distance to travel. We will use common sense in these type of situations.
If a team refuses to switch then the game may be awarded to the opposition, but the Disciplinary Committee will make the decision based on the above paragraph.
In no event should a manager postpone the game and then contact the referee to tell him/her that it is off!
Don't forget that frosty pitches often clear up by 11.00 or 11.30 so the game should be delayed to allow a defrost. We don't expect young children to stand outside for an hour if the conditions are really bad. Again, common sense must be used.
In extreme situations, e.g. roads and pitches are covered in snow/ice, then the League may decide on a blanket postponement covering the entire league, and clubs will be notified accordingly. In this case, postponement notices from clubs are not required.
County Cup matches are outside the remit of the League so all queries regarding these matches should be sent to your parent County FA.
County Cup matches take priority over OYFL matches, so if you are given a County Cup match that clashes with a League match, you should inform the League Fixtures Secretary and your League opposition immediately.
If your team goes through to the next round of the County Cup, please let the League Fixtures Secretary know, so your forthcoming matches can be adjusted accordingly.
If anything happens during the match, e.g. a welfare incident, this should not be reported to the League. Your Club Welfare Officer should be informed and they should liase with the CWO of the opposing club or the County FA safeguarding team as appropriate.
Any discipline issues that occur during a County Cup match, e.g. sin bin, caution, dismissal or misconduct, will be reported directly to the County FA by the match referee, as happens in any other match. Any queries or appeals should be made directly to the County FA as normal.